Sunday, November 30, 2008


  • Quaint

    Prudent; wise; hence, crafty; artful; wily.

    Characterized by ingenuity or art; finely fashioned; skillfully wrought; elegant; graceful; nice; neat.

    Curious and fanciful; affected; odd; whimsical; antique; archaic; singular; unusual; as, quaint architecture; a quaint expression.
I love words. I collect them...take them out every once in awhile and roll them around on my tongue. I horde them and play with them and look at them with adoration. It is an addiction, a dirty little secret, that I write them down with wild abandon and do not even spell them right. I make them up sometimes, too.

Today, it is just this..."quaint". I found it hiding under the refrigerator and posted it for all to see. I pass it on my way to the laundry room and admire it.

As I sit on my worn, gray couch in my living room, surrounded by toys strewn about as if a piece of abstract art were in progress, listening to the dryer spin and hum, watching the mist become fog and envelop my house, I can think nothing but the word "quaint".

My life is quaint. My ideas, my style, my dreams, my concerns. Like a countryside painting or a pastoral poem, my life is blessedly simple and unoriginal.

Tonight when we begin our son's bedtime ritual...a bath (complete with toys and tons of splashing and squealing laughter), a bottle of milk, and several bedtime stories that have been read so many times that the cardboard pages are bent and we've memorized the words, there will be little or no discussion about how important it all is.

When we sit down to an old-world meal of bread, cheese, meat and wine, there will be a discussion about the day...we'll watch a movie, shut off the lights, call the dogs in to curl up on their beds, and turn in before ten.

Quaint. Perfect. Sunday.

Worry not...the lyrics of this song are not indicative of my state of mind...but the music itself is...besides, her voice is one of my favorites, calming, velvety...makes me dream of a smoky piano bar and a pink drink in a pretty glass; or a hot mug of spiced wine, a hand-made afghan, and a book I already know the ending of...mmm...Sunday afternoons are lovely and never last long enough.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

"The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago... had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands." ~Havelock Ellis, The Dance of Life, 1923

It is indeed a "black" day when shopping becomes deadly. Even "blacker" when the people who trampled that poor Wal-mart employee don't even look twice at his lifeless body as they scramble over each other to get at that must-have-cannot-live-without merchandise. Really. Do any of us need anything that badly? Those people should be downright ashamed of themselves.

Most of us who were not involved will watch the evening news or read it about it in the newspaper, shake our heads in wonder, click our tongues at the absurdity, and let out a sigh of sadness over the depravity of human nature...which is why, as I did my research on this story, I was just as horrified by the immediate need for some people to blame--someone, anyone, everyone--for what happened. I have read (and commented on) a half-dozen websites and blogs that have blamed America, Americans, black communities, Western Culture, Wal-Mart, the security guards, etc. for this deplorable event. Greed, blame, anger...what a day for it!

For those of us at home still in our pajamas, staying off the mean streets of consumer hell today, I lift my cup in homage and camaraderie. It is indeed a good day to stay home in slippers and flannel, overseeing a bubbling, fragrant crock pot, watching an old movie or reading a good book.

In my pot today: corned beef, carrots, onion, potatoes, turnips...all from the local fields (even the corned beef is raised in WA and seasoned locally

In my DVD player: As You Like It - another wonderful Kenneth Branagh cinematic extravaganza

On my coffee table: The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

On my cd player: Billy Holiday's "Love Songs"

Outside it is wet and gray
so inside the children play;
a tiny hour of solitude
the children nap,
my interlude
is hard-won and
a simple day--
a winter haven.

Video 1: "Underwear Goes Inside the Pants" - Lazyboy
Video 2: "Black Friday" - Cool Calm Pete

Thursday, November 27, 2008


My life is a simple thing that would interest no one. It is a known fact that I was born and that is all that is necessary.” - Albert Einstein

Today's simple pleasures: a sleeping baby who no longer requires repeated reminders of "no" or timeout, dinner that I do not have to cook, time away from work, coffee at 9 am instead of 6.

It is true that most of us live "small" lives. Small, meaning we touch the lives of only a very few and will probably be remembered by fewer. However, "insignificant" we are not. Like pebbles being thrown into pools of water...our impact on our environment may be small, but it is not inconsequential. Every action for which we are responsible is never without effect. It is important, I think, that we remember this. But it is also a good thing to remember that we are also not as important as we sometimes think. Small. It's a small word that means many things. There are small things, small people, small dreams. The word's connotations can be both good and bad. The main reason it is my adjective of choice.

Today is Thanksgiving. And I am grateful for many small things: two quiet dogs nestled at my feet, a sleeping child, a companion willing to provide space for my thoughts.

My life is small. And that is good.